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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sight, Smell, Texture, & Feeling

DIETETIC INTERNSHIP: Weeks 24 - 25 (of 41)
Spinal Cord Injury: Weeks 24 & 25
The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) population is a very unique group that ranges from tetraplegia (formerly known as quadriplegia) to paraplegia, with various stages of injury severity (complete v. incomplete) and mobility.  For example, an incomplete tetraplegic patient may walk with a cane or walker, but a complete paraplegia may not be able to turn him/herself in the bed, nor sit up.  Much of this has to do with injury severity.

I spent two weeks working with inpatient and outpatient SCI patients.  VA SCI individuals are frequently inpatient for extremely long durations; I visited with patients that had been inpatient for over 6 months or more!  Many SCI patients are quite healthy in mind, but uncooperative in body.  The injuries that resulted in SCI are far ranging, from a 32 year old enlisted officer that went butt over teakettle while mountain biking, to an older man that fell out of the top bunk of his prison bed.  One can only imagine that compliance to medication, which includes nutrition, is just as varied.  With some near complete immobility, nutrition is the #1 form of medicine… or the #1 form of disease.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Every Body, Every Day: How to Get Fit

I had a blog post published nationally under the VA!  Read the original here, or below:

Every Body, Every Day: How to Get Fit

How many times in one week do we hear about exercising? Eating right? Losing weight? Keeping our heart healthy? Many have heard and understand that exercising is beneficial for health; however, there are often many questions about exactly how much exercises is needed, the benefits to activity, what qualifies as exercise.
What does it all mean?
If your doctor told you that doing one thing for approximately 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week would significantly reduce your risk of:
Early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, falls, depression.
Would you consider incorporating it into your life? It would cause no harm, only benefits, including health and financial gains. Would you do it? By now it is no surprise that this 30-minute per day “thing” is Physical Activity!
Watch this video, it is worth every minute:
How much?

Some physical activity is better than none.  For major health benefits the CDC , the American College of Sports Medicine, the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, and the American Heart Association recommend that adults:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Administrative Side

DIETETIC INTERNSHIP: Weeks 20 - 23 (of 41)
Management: Weeks 20 & 21
Professional Development: Week 22
Research: Week 23

The Registered Dietitian’s exam includes various managerial topics, from theory (Maslow, Herzberg) to application (human v. technical v. practical skills).  In a pair with fellow intern Nick, we spent two weeks working with two different managers:  the Chief (of Nutrition & Food Services), and the Clinical Manager.  The tasks ranged from disciplinary proceedings meetings to face-time-only-required meetings to rudimentary analysis of current Clinical Dietitian medical chart documentation.  Meh.  While many people at my age are ready to progress beyond the day-to-day operations in their respective career and move into management, my feelings are slightly ill timed.  I suppose because the dietetics fields is a career change for me, I am entirely interested in solely patient care at this time.  Or perhaps I just want to stay away from financial analysis any time soon!?!  Regardless of sentiment, I like healthcare!